Open Access. Powered by Scholars. Published by Universities.®

Law Commons

Open Access. Powered by Scholars. Published by Universities.®

Articles 1 - 30 of 120

Full-Text Articles in Law

Our Passive-Aggressive Model Of Civil Adjudication, Thomas O. Main Jan 2019

Our Passive-Aggressive Model Of Civil Adjudication, Thomas O. Main

Scholarly Works

In this essay, Professor Main offers one original observation and poses two new questions about the vanishing civil trial.


Uncovering The Hidden Conflicts In Securities Class Action Litigation: Lessons From The State Street Case, Benjamin P. Edwards, Anthony Rickey Jan 2019

Uncovering The Hidden Conflicts In Securities Class Action Litigation: Lessons From The State Street Case, Benjamin P. Edwards, Anthony Rickey

Scholarly Works

Courts, Congress, and commentators have long worried that stockholder plaintiffs in securities and M&A litigation and their counsel may pursue suits that benefit themselves rather than absent stockholders or the corporations in which they invest. Following congressional reforms that encouraged the appointment of institutional stockholders as lead plaintiffs in securities actions, significant academic commentary has focused on the problem of “pay to play”—the possibility that class action law firms encourage litigation by making donations to politicians with influence over institutional stockholders, particularly public sector pension funds.

A recent federal securities class action in the District of Massachusetts, however ...


Promoting Executive Accountability Through Qui Tam Legislation, Randy Beck Jan 2018

Promoting Executive Accountability Through Qui Tam Legislation, Randy Beck

Scholarly Works

For hundreds of years prior to ratification of the U.S. Constitution, Anglo-American legislatures used qui tam legislation to enforce legal constraints on government officials. A qui tam statute allows a private informer to collect a statutory fine for illegal conduct, even if the informer lacks the particularized injury normally required for Article III standing. This essay explores whether qui tam regulation should be revived as a means of ensuring executive branch legal accountability."


Is Pena-Rodriguez V. Colorado Just A Drop In The Bucket Or A Catalyst For Improving A Jury System Still Plagued By Racial Bias, And Still Badly In Need Of Repairs, Robert I. Correales Jan 2018

Is Pena-Rodriguez V. Colorado Just A Drop In The Bucket Or A Catalyst For Improving A Jury System Still Plagued By Racial Bias, And Still Badly In Need Of Repairs, Robert I. Correales

Scholarly Works

Historically, race-based jury bias has maintained the most prominent place in the hierarchy of social ills that have plagued the American Criminal Justice System. Relying on Due Process and Equal Protection principles, the United States Supreme Court and lower federal courts have chipped away at the problem with mixed results. State Courts have also served as laboratories, providing important lessons on the successes and failures of different approaches, often leading the way with their innovations. A formidable obstacle commonly referred to as a "black box," better known as the no-impeachment rule, has made progress difficult. The no-impeachment rule was designed ...


Book Review: Legal Persuasion: A Rhetorical Approach To The Science, Lori D. Johnson, Sarah Morath Jan 2018

Book Review: Legal Persuasion: A Rhetorical Approach To The Science, Lori D. Johnson, Sarah Morath

Scholarly Works

In this piece written for Legal Writing: The Journal of the Legal Writing Institute, Professor Lori D. Johnson provides a compelling review of new publication co-authored by William S. Boyd Law Professor Linda L. Berger.


Publicly Funded Objectors, Elizabeth Chamblee Burch Jan 2018

Publicly Funded Objectors, Elizabeth Chamblee Burch

Scholarly Works

On paper, class actions run like clockwork. But practice suggests the need for tune-ups: sometimes judges still approve settlements rife with red flags, and professional objectors may be more concerned with shaking down class counsel than with improving class members’ outcomes. The lack of data on the number of opt-outs, objectors, and claims rates fuels debates on both sides, for little is known about how well or poorly class members actually fare. This reveals a ubiquitous problem — information barriers confront judges, objectors, and even reformers. Rule 23’s answer is to empower objectors. At best, objectors are a partial fix ...


Repeat Players In Multidistrict Litigation: The Social Network, Elizabeth Chamblee Burch, Margaret S. Williams Jan 2017

Repeat Players In Multidistrict Litigation: The Social Network, Elizabeth Chamblee Burch, Margaret S. Williams

Scholarly Works

As class certification wanes, plaintiffs’ lawyers resolve hundreds of thousands of individual lawsuits through aggregate settlements in multidistrict litigation. But without class actions, formal rules are scarce and judges rarely scrutinize the private agreements that result. Meanwhile, the same principal-agent concerns that plagued class-action attorneys linger. These circumstances are ripe for exploitation: few rules, little oversight, multi-million dollar common-benefit fees, and a push for settlement can tempt a cadre of repeat players to fill in the gaps in ways that further their own self-interest.

Although multidistrict litigation now comprises 36 percent of the entire federal civil caseload, legal scholars have ...


Standing For (And Up To) Separation Of Powers, Kent H. Barnett Apr 2016

Standing For (And Up To) Separation Of Powers, Kent H. Barnett

Scholarly Works

The U.S. Constitution requires federal agencies to comply with separation-of-powers (or structural) safeguards, such as by obtaining valid appointments, exercising certain limited powers, and being sufficiently subject to the President’s control. Who can best protect these safeguards? A growing number of scholars call for allowing only the political branches — Congress and the President — to defend them. These scholars would limit or end judicial review because private judicial challenges are aberrant to justiciability doctrine and lead courts to meddle in minor matters that rarely effect regulatory outcomes.

This Article defends the right of private parties to assert justiciable structural ...


Discouraging Frivolous Copyright Infringement Claims: Fee Shifting Under Rule 11 Or 28 U.S.C. § 1927 As An Alternative To Awarding Attorney's Fees Under Section 505 Of The Copyright Act, David E. Shipley Jan 2016

Discouraging Frivolous Copyright Infringement Claims: Fee Shifting Under Rule 11 Or 28 U.S.C. § 1927 As An Alternative To Awarding Attorney's Fees Under Section 505 Of The Copyright Act, David E. Shipley

Scholarly Works

The United States Supreme Court’s 2016 decision in Kirtsaeng v. John Wiley & Sons resolved a disagreement over when it is appropriate to award attorney’s fees to a prevailing defendant under section 505 of the Copyright Act, and ended a perceived venue advantage for losing plaintiffs in some jurisdictions. The Court ruled unanimously that courts are correct to give substantial weight to the question of whether the losing side had a reasonable case to fight, but that the objective reasonableness of that side’s position does not give rise to a presumption against fee shifting. It made clear that ...


Judging Multidistrict Litigation, Elizabeth Chamblee Burch Apr 2015

Judging Multidistrict Litigation, Elizabeth Chamblee Burch

Scholarly Works

High-stakes multidistrict litigations saddle the transferee judges who manage them with an odd juxtaposition of power and impotence. On one hand, judges appoint and compensate lead lawyers (who effectively replace parties’ chosen counsel) and promote settlement with scant appellate scrutiny or legislative oversight. But on the other, without the arsenal class certification once afforded, judges are relatively powerless to police the private settlements they encourage. Of course, this power shortage is of little concern since parties consent to settle.

Or do they? Contrary to conventional wisdom, this Article introduces new empirical data revealing that judges appoint an overwhelming number of ...


Disarming Employees: How American Employers Are Using Mandatory Arbitration To Deprive Workers Of Legal Protection, Jean R. Sternlight Jan 2015

Disarming Employees: How American Employers Are Using Mandatory Arbitration To Deprive Workers Of Legal Protection, Jean R. Sternlight

Scholarly Works

Employers’ imposition of mandatory arbitration constricts employees’ access to justice. The twenty percent of the American workforce covered by mandatory arbitration clauses file just 2,000 arbitration claims annually, a minuscule number even compared to the small number of employees who litigate claims individually or as part of a class action. Exploring how mandatory arbitration prevents employees from enforcing their rights the Article shows employees covered by mandatory arbitration clauses (1) win far less frequently and far less money than employees who litigate; (2) have a harder time obtaining legal representation; (3) are often precluded from participating in class, collective ...


Navigating The Law Of Defense Counsel Ex Parte Interviews Of Treating Physicians, Joseph Regalia, V. Andrew Cass Jan 2015

Navigating The Law Of Defense Counsel Ex Parte Interviews Of Treating Physicians, Joseph Regalia, V. Andrew Cass

Scholarly Works

This article explores the issue of defense counsel ex parte interviews with treating physicians, and proposes a resolution to standardize the practice that is equitable for all parties involved. Courts and legal scholars have commonly recognized that treating physicians in personal injury litigation are usually fact witnesses, albeit with special expertise, and allow plaintiffs unfettered access while defendants are relegated to a formal deposition which creates a fundamental imbalance in informational power. Moreover, there are significant arguments raised by the defense bar concerning efficiency and fairness. However, allowing defense counsel unlimited and unregulated access to treating physicians creates clear risks ...


All Together Now: Using Principles Of Group Dynamics To Train Better Jurors, Sara Gordon Jan 2015

All Together Now: Using Principles Of Group Dynamics To Train Better Jurors, Sara Gordon

Scholarly Works

We ask juries to make important decisions that have a profound impact on people’s lives. We leave these decisions in the hands of groups of laypeople because we hope that the diverse range of experiences and knowledge in the group will lead to more thoughtful and informed decisionmaking. Studies suggest that diverse groups of jurors have different perspectives on evidence, engage in more thorough debate, and more closely evaluate facts. At the same time, there are a variety of problems associated with group decisionmaking, from the loss of individual motivation in group settings, to the vulnerability of groups to ...


This Is Your Sword: How Damaging Are Prior Convictions To Plaintiffs In Civil Trials?, Kathryn M. Stanchi, Deirdre Bowen Jan 2014

This Is Your Sword: How Damaging Are Prior Convictions To Plaintiffs In Civil Trials?, Kathryn M. Stanchi, Deirdre Bowen

Scholarly Works

The conventional wisdom in law is that a prior conviction is one of the most powerful and damaging pieces of evidence that can be offered against a witness or party. In legal lore, prior convictions seriously undercut the credibility of the witness and can derail the outcome of a trial. This Article suggests that may not always be true.

This Article details the results of an empirical study of juror decision-making that challenges the conventional wisdom about prior convictions. In our study, the prior conviction evidence did not have a direct impact on the outcome of the civil trial or ...


What Jurors Want To Know: Motivating Juror Cognition To Increase Legal Knowledge & Improve Decisionmaking, Sara Gordon Jan 2014

What Jurors Want To Know: Motivating Juror Cognition To Increase Legal Knowledge & Improve Decisionmaking, Sara Gordon

Scholarly Works

What do jurors want to know? Jury research tells us that jurors want to understand the information they hear in a trial so they can reach the correct decision. But like all people, jurors who are asked to analyze information in a trial—even jurors who consciously want to reach a fair and accurate verdict—are unconsciously influenced by their internal goals and motivations. Some of these motives are specific to individual jurors; for instance, a potential juror with a financial interest in a case would be excluded from the jury pool. But other motivations, like the motive to understand ...


Using Outcomes To Reframe Guilty Plea Adjudication, Anne R. Traum Jan 2014

Using Outcomes To Reframe Guilty Plea Adjudication, Anne R. Traum

Scholarly Works

The Supreme Court’s 2012 decisions in Lafler v. Cooper and Missouri v. Frye lay the groundwork for a new approach to judicial oversight of guilty pleas that considers outcomes. These cases confirm that courts possess robust authority to protect defendants’ Sixth Amendment right to the effective assistance of counsel and that plea outcomes are particularly relevant to identifying and remedying prejudicial ineffective assistance in plea-bargaining. The Court’s reliance on outcome-based prejudice analysis and suggestions for trial court-level reforms to prevent Sixth Amendment violations set the stage for trial courts to take a more active, substantive role in regulating ...


Remanding Multidistrict Litigation, Elizabeth Chamblee Burch Jan 2014

Remanding Multidistrict Litigation, Elizabeth Chamblee Burch

Scholarly Works

Multidistrict litigation has frequently been described as a “black hole” because transfer is typically a one-way ticket. The numbers lend truth to this proposition. As of 2010, the Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation remanded only 3.425% of cases to their original districts. That number dwindled to 3.1% in 2012, and to a scant 2.9% in 2013. Retaining cases in hopes of forcing a global settlement can cause a constellation of complications. These concerns range from procedural justice issues over selecting a forum and correcting error, to substantive concerns about fidelity to state laws, to undermining democratic participation ...


When Fear Rules In Law’S Place: Pseudonymous Litigation As A Response To Systematic Intimidation, Benjamin P. Edwards Jan 2013

When Fear Rules In Law’S Place: Pseudonymous Litigation As A Response To Systematic Intimidation, Benjamin P. Edwards

Scholarly Works

When reprisals and intimidation make certain types of cases too risky for most plaintiffs to file, courts should preserve access to justice by allowing more plaintiffs to proceed pseudonymously. As it stands, courts may be deciding requests to proceed under a pseudonym without understanding the full scope of possible retaliation risks, including that past retaliation may work continuing harm through the stress created by fear.

Unusually heightened retaliation risks may be best exemplified by the nasty reprisals befalling plaintiffs in separation of church and state cases. Although multiple books addressed the issue in the mid-90s, the violent trend has continued ...


Toward A Functional Approach To Sovereign Equality, Peter B. Rutledge Dec 2012

Toward A Functional Approach To Sovereign Equality, Peter B. Rutledge

Scholarly Works

Under the principle of sovereign equality of nations, nation states are entitled to equal dignity (evidenced by conventions like their voting rights in the United Nations), have the identical capacity to contract (evidenced by their ability to enter into treaties), and are not subject to a superior sovereign (evidenced by the lack of a global leviathan). This principle also has had an important effect in the field of international civil litigation, in areas such as judicial jurisdiction or sovereign immunity. As that principle has weakened over the twentieth century, risks of aggravation to comity have risen, resulting in the development ...


Civility And Collegiality—Unreasonable Judicial Expectations For Lawyers As Officers Of The Court?, Lonnie T. Brown Jul 2012

Civility And Collegiality—Unreasonable Judicial Expectations For Lawyers As Officers Of The Court?, Lonnie T. Brown

Scholarly Works

It is a well-settled and often-recited fact that lawyers are “officers of the court.” That title, however, is notoriously hortatory and devoid of meaning. Nevertheless, the Eleventh Circuit recently took the somewhat unprecedented step of utilizing the officer-of-the-court label to, in effect, sanction an attorney for the purportedly uncivil act of failing to provide defendant attorneys with pre-suit notice. While the author applauds the court’s desire to place greater emphasis on lawyer-to-lawyer collegiality as a component of officer-of-the-court status, the uncertainty the decision creates in terms of a lawyer’s role will potentially force litigators to compromise important client-centered ...


Gat, Solvay, And The Centralization Of Patent Litigation In Europe, Marketa Trimble Jan 2012

Gat, Solvay, And The Centralization Of Patent Litigation In Europe, Marketa Trimble

Scholarly Works

No abstract provided.


Tending To Potted Plants: The Professional Identity Vacuum In Garcetti V. Ceballos, Jeffrey W. Stempel Jan 2012

Tending To Potted Plants: The Professional Identity Vacuum In Garcetti V. Ceballos, Jeffrey W. Stempel

Scholarly Works

No abstract provided.


Toward A Law Of "Lovely Parting Gifts": Conditioning Forum Non Conveniens Dismissals, Thomas O. Main Jan 2012

Toward A Law Of "Lovely Parting Gifts": Conditioning Forum Non Conveniens Dismissals, Thomas O. Main

Scholarly Works

No abstract provided.


Optimal Lead Plaintiffs, Elizabeth Chamblee Burch May 2011

Optimal Lead Plaintiffs, Elizabeth Chamblee Burch

Scholarly Works

Adequate representation in securities class actions is, at best, an afterthought and, at worst, usurped and subsumed by the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act’s lead-plaintiff appointment process. Once appointed, the lead plaintiff bears a crushing burden: Congress expects her to monitor the attorney, thwart strike suits, and deter fraud, while judges expect her appointment as the “most adequate plaintiff” to resolve intra-class conflicts and adequate-representation problems. But even if she could be all things to all people, the lead plaintiff has little authority to do much aside from appointing lead counsel. Plus, class members in securities-fraud cases have diverse ...


Group Consensus, Individual Consent, Elizabeth Chamblee Burch Feb 2011

Group Consensus, Individual Consent, Elizabeth Chamblee Burch

Scholarly Works

Despite a rise in the number of personal-injury and product-liability cases consolidated through multi-district litigation, a decline in class-certification motions, and several newsworthy nonclass settlements such as the $4.85 billion Vioxx settlement and estimated $700 million Zyprexa settlements, little ink has been spilled on nonclass aggregation’s unique issues. Sections 3.17 and 3.18 of the American Law Institute’s Principles of the Law of Aggregate Litigation are a noteworthy exception. This Article uses those principles as a lens for exploring thematic questions about the value of pluralism, group cohesion, governance, procedural justice, and legitimacy in nonclass aggregation ...


Joint Defense Or Research Joint Venture? Reassessing The Patent-Challenge-Bloc's Antitrust Status, Joseph S. Miller Jan 2011

Joint Defense Or Research Joint Venture? Reassessing The Patent-Challenge-Bloc's Antitrust Status, Joseph S. Miller

Scholarly Works

A patent challenger who defeats a patent wins spoils that it must share with the world, including all its competitors. This forced sharing undercuts an alleged infringer's incentive to stay in the fight to the finish - especially if the patent owner offers an attractive settlement. Too many settlements, and too few definitive patent challenges, are the result. I have argued previously that a litigation-stage bounty would help correct this tilt against patent challenges, for it would provide cash prizes to successful patent challengers that they alone would enjoy. Even the best-designed bounty, however, would likely fail to encourage patent ...


Taxing Punitive Damages, Gregg D. Polsky, Dan Markel Sep 2010

Taxing Punitive Damages, Gregg D. Polsky, Dan Markel

Scholarly Works

There is a curious anomaly in the law of punitive damages. Jurors assess punitive damages in the amount that they believe will best “punish” the defendant. But, in fact, defendants are not always punished to the degree that the jury intends. Under the Internal Revenue Code, punitive damages paid by business defendants are tax deductible and, as a result, these defendants often pay (in real dollars) far less than the jury believes they deserve to pay.

To solve this problem of under-punishment, many scholars and policymakers, including President Obama, have proposed making punitive damages nondeductible in all cases. In our ...


Taxing Structured Settlements, Gregg D. Polsky, Brant J. Hellwig May 2010

Taxing Structured Settlements, Gregg D. Polsky, Brant J. Hellwig

Scholarly Works

Congress has granted a tax subsidy to physically injured tort plaintiffs who enter into structured settlements. The subsidy allows these plaintiffs to exempt from the tax the investment yield imbedded within the structured settlement. The apparent purpose of the subsidy is to encourage physically injured plaintiffs to invest, rather than presently consume, their litigation recoveries. While the statutory subsidy by its terms is available only to physically injured tort plaintiffs, a growing structured settlement industry now contends that the same tax benefit of yield exemption is available to plaintiffs’ lawyers and non-physically injured tort plaintiffs under general, common-law tax principles ...


Aggregation, Community, And The Line Between, Elizabeth Chamblee Burch May 2010

Aggregation, Community, And The Line Between, Elizabeth Chamblee Burch

Scholarly Works

As class-action theorists, we sometimes focus so heavily on the class certification threshold that we neglect to reassess the line itself. The current line asks whether procedurally aggregated individuals form a sufficiently cohesive group before the decision to sue. Given this symposium’s topic - the state of aggregate litigation and the boundaries of class actions in the decade after Amchem Products, Inc. v. Windsor and Ortiz v. Fibreboard Corp. - the time is ripe to challenge our assumptions about this line in non-class aggregation. Accordingly, this Article examines group cohesion and asks whether the current line is the only dividing line ...


John Paul Stevens And Equally Impartial Government, Diane Marie Amann Feb 2010

John Paul Stevens And Equally Impartial Government, Diane Marie Amann

Scholarly Works

This article is the second publication arising out of the author's ongoing research respecting Justice John Paul Stevens. It is one of several published by former law clerks and other legal experts in the UC Davis Law Review symposium edition, Volume 43, No. 3, February 2010, "The Honorable John Paul Stevens."

The article posits that Justice Stevens's embrace of race-conscious measures to ensure continued diversity stands in tension with his early rejections of affirmative action programs. The contrast suggests a linear movement toward a progressive interpretation of the Constitution’s equality guarantee; however, examination of Stevens's writings ...